Grits for Dinner - Help?
Ok, so I am a relatively talented and experienced cook. No scholastic or restaurant training, but I've made 1000s of meals. Like many of you, I'm sure, I get tired of trying to think of new things to make for dinner and occassionally ask my wife for ideas. Most recently, being from North Carolina, she asked me to make grits.
Now, being from New Jersey, grits are as unfamiliar to me as clean air and people with good manners. I need help with this one and my searches to date have proven unsuccesful.
As a first step, I recently ordered quick cook grits from Anson Mills (both white and yellow). As per their instructions, I have stored the box in my freezer. Consequently, the package taunts me each time reach for an ice cube. So please, can anyone point me in the right direction or provide me with a dinner plan in which grits might star?
I'm from South Carolina, now living in San Diego. I've been making grits most of my life. The best grits are stone-ground. They're coarser than quick or instant grits, but take a little longer to cook. You'll need an over-sized saucepan. Fill the saucepan about 1/3 of the way with water, and fill it the rest ofthe way to 1/2 with milk. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter, and some salt. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Whisk in about 1/3 the amount of grits to the amount of liquid. Whisking will help prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low, and let the grits simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until they're soft. At this stage, taste the grits for saltiness. This is also the time to add cheese, bacon, or whatever else you like.
Southern Living has a nice shrimp and grits recipe. They're also good grilled. Use your leftover grits. Pour the grits into a pan, and chill them. Then, after they're solid, cut them into whatever shape you want. Brush them with olive oil, and put the grit cake on the grill for a couple of minutes (or you can do the same in a skillet).
If you've ever made polenta, you've basically made grits. Use the same technique, and you'll be fine. Something a lot of cooks don't seem to know is that if your grits (or polenta) are too thick, simply stir in a little boiling water and cook for a few more minutes -- perfect consistency everytime.
many tips here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/392030
The link I put in that thread to an approximation of Frank Brigtsen's fried grit cakes is my absolute favorite way to eat grits. My wife's in charge of shrimp and grits (my 2nd fave), but I know she uses both milk and chicken stock to prepare the grits and they are the richest creamiest grits I've ever eaten.
Another Jersey boy here (born and raised) but I've graduated to the world of grits after a trip to Charleston.
Grits are easy to cook and delicious. I have Anson Mills course ground grits and use 3 cups water/stock to 1 cup grits. Bring the liquid to a boil and whisk in the grits, then lower heat and cook until you think its done, at least 10 minutes. The longer it cooks the creamier it gets. At this point you can add cheese or anything. One of my favorites is to saute some diced pancetta till really crispy and stir into the cooked grits with a handful of parmesan cheese. Sometimes I'll add an overeasy egg ontop when plating, so when you cut the egg, the runny yolk gets absorbed.
You can also cook the grits with milk/heavy cream but I never have any dairy in the house, so never cook it that way. If you have leftovers, you can refridgerate and then cut into squares and panfry or grill until golden brown and have as a side dish.
I wound up using the Anson Mills Shrimp and Grits recipe my wife found. The "quick" grits took about 45 minutes, all told. The recipe is here at:
It was excellent! I used Irish rashers instead of bacon or country ham. I decided to go in the direction of the meatiness of ham istead of the smokiness of bacon/country ham since neither was in the house and the rashers needed a purpose!
I used the white grits tonight. Tomorrow, we try the yellow. I have pork and young kale to accompany them.
Thaks for the tips. I hope to see more, as I have lots of grits left!
I love those grits - but I have only had the regular ones from Anson Mills. I also like their polenta. Anyway, they are great with grilled or BBQed meats, good high quality beans (I have served mine with chipoltle vaquero beans). I always want to make shrimp and grits, but my husband has a psychological allergy to seafood.
I love the corn flavor of the anson mills grits, that I don't find you have to add a lot of cream or cheese, but since your wife is from North Carolina, she may have strong memories of grits that I don't being a west coast girl.
Shrimp and grits is a common meal around here in NC. It's easy to make, and Bon Appetit has a good recipe for creamy shrimp grits with prosciutto on epicurious.com here
I make that one with good results.
Grits are also an excellent side dish for grilled pork chops. Mix in a handful of sharp cheddar as well. If you want the grits to be more solid, mix in an egg as well and bake them for about 15 minutes.
Grits are a pretty versatile starch. Once you familiarize yourself with them, you'll probably come up with lots of variations on your own.
I do cheese grits with barbaque ribs or brisket. Also they are great with ham and I like to serve them with baked beans as the other side. I like to add cheddar eggs and fresh Jalapeno's to kick them up also a couple shots of tabassco. Lots of salt and pepper too. I take these to a lot of parties and people go wild. I don't use the instant grits I use the regular.